Created in 2000, the WAT system was developed in Japan. It values clean energy produced from wind turbines and solar panels - by collaborative citizens. The WAT is 1 kilowatt-hour of energy and is worth between 75 and 100 yen (approximately 60 to 90 euro cents). WAt currency is printed on a paper, bill or ticket, it is very often printed by companies that use this support system to advertise for endorsements.
The Wat system is part of a unique alternative Japanese currency system. This system is not managed by any type of server that acts as a central authority by recording all of the transactions, as is the case with many alternative currencies. It works on a peer-to-peer model managed by multiple computers, operating without a centralized control device for the whole system. This is why there are no membership fees. System costs are very low, the necessary forms can be downloaded from a website and the operating costs, in particular, the costs of printing tickets, are covered by companies that use the ticket for its advertising purposes. Companies can join in the printing costs, and we could see this type of mutual cooperation approach of sharing costs develop.
The system is truly democratic and completely decentralized. Individuals can circulate WAT themselves. The reputation of the person within the system and their reliability leads to the acceptance of tickets being hand out, as is the case with online auctions like eBay.
Anyone accepting the WAT-ticket as payment for goods or services automatically becomes a member of the system. This extreme decentralization allows the system to spread very quickly. According to Bernard Lietaer, an alternative currency specialist "making WAT tickets is one of the cheapest ways of creating money" ("Monnaies régionales", Ed. Charles Léopold Mayer).
This alternative currency is one of the "rebellious" initiatives tried out in certain territories - specifically in Japan - a stronghold for testing out currency. It rejects any form of national or centralized regulation. It is likely that the emergence of WAT was a response to forms of centralist influences from Japanese society, which would explain the emergence of regional systems that detach themselves from capital
Six minutes of work are needed to produce 1 WAT. The paper currency is paid by companies that assign it a marketing value. The peer-to-peer system cuts down on the server costs. The absence of a centralized system significantly reduces infrastructure and monitoring costs.